A lumbar disc herniation is a relatively common diagnosis compared to cervical disc herniation and thoracic disc herniation. It occurs when the jelly-like inner component of the spinal disc protrudes out through the damaged or torn outer layer of the spinal disc.
While the spinal discs normally absorb the stress placed on our spine during walking, running, or jogging, a herniated disc may cause significant pain and make it difficult to perform day-to-day activities. It can also lead to pain in the legs, buttocks, or feet if the protruding disc material contacts one of the spinal nerves in this region.
Fortunately, physical therapy can ease the symptoms of lumber disc herniation and help with its recovery process. Let’s discuss how physical therapy can help with recovery from lumbar disc herniation and where you can go for outstanding physical therapy in Rochester Hills, MI.
Physical Therapy for Lumbar Disc Herniation Recovery
Physical therapy for lumbar discherniation is performed with several specified goals. During a PT appointment, a physical therapist will perform a comprehensive assessment to determine the location of disc herniation. They will also assess the mobility of your spine and check for the strength in your arms and leg muscles to see if they have been affected by disc herniation. In addition, a physical therapist will also evaluate your sensations and reflexes to get a better understanding of your individual problem.
Following the initial evaluation, a physical therapist will develop a physical therapy plan to assist the lumbar discherniation recovery process. Typically, the plan will be focused on:
In many cases, a herniated disc can be compressed against the adjusted spinal nerves, causing pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness, which may spread into the legs.
Before determining the type of physical therapy exercise that will help relieve your pain, the physical therapist will examine whether moving in a specific direction causes the symptoms in your extremities to improve or resolve completely. This is known as directional preferences, and it helps develop a physical therapy plan.
For instance, if moving in a certain direction causes your pain to worsen, your physical therapist will avoid all those exercises that involve movement in that direction. In addition to physical therapy exercises, a physical therapist may also use various techniques to alleviate pain. These techniques may include heat or cold therapy, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, or spinal traction.
Core strengthening exercises target the muscles in the abdomen, lower back, and pelvis, which are collectively known as the core. A strong core supports the spine, improves posture, and reduces the risk of injury.
Your physical therapist will choose and teach you the correct core strengthening exercises to restore your strength and agility, stabilize your spine, and reduce stress on injured discs.
Strengthening your core will also allow you to perform your daily activities that require core strength, such as reaching for something on the top of the shelf, picking something up from the floor, cleaning the house, controlling bladder and bowel function, and bending down.
Physical therapists can also incorporate flexibility exercises in physical therapy plans.These exercises target the tight muscle that contributes to lumbar disc herniation. Improved flexibility helps improve the range of motion of the spine and the surrounding areas of the back.
Education in Posture and Body Mechanics
Posture and body mechanics can also contribute to lumber disc herniation.Therefore, physical therapists educate patients about posture alignment and proper body mechanics. They may also teach you how to move, lift, or perform your daily activities to prevent further damage to your spine and promote healing.
Lumbar Disc Herniation Doctor in Rochester Hills, MI
If you’re in search of a highly experienced lumbar disc herniation doctor in Rochester Hills, MI, look no further than Dr. Bradley Ahlgren of Ahlgren Spine. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained spine surgeon frequently prescribes physical therapy for lumbar disc herniation. Our spine surgeon first explores conservative and non-surgical treatment methods for lumbar disc herniation, such as physical therapy, before considering surgical procedures like discectomy.
If you want to know more about the physical therapy services we offer in our Rochester Hills location or would like to schedule a one-on-one consultation with our spine surgeon, call our staff today at (248) 215-8080 or use our online appointment request form.